Chronic vulvovaginal Candida hypersensitivity: An underrecognized and undertreated disorder by allergists.

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Chronic vulvovaginal Candida hypersensitivity: An underrecognized and undertreated disorder by allergists.

Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2015 Jan;6(1):44-9

Authors: Bernstein JA, Seidu L

Abstract
Vulvovaginal candidiasis infections are estimated to occur at least once during the lifetime of 75% of the female population. It has been proposed that some women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) develop sensitization to Candida albicans and clinically improve in response to Candida immunotherapy. Here, we report a case series of 12 women diagnosed with chronic vulvovaginal Candida hypersensitivity subsequently treated with Candida immunotherapy and review potential systemic and localized host immune defense mechanisms involved in C. albicans overgrowth and sensitization. A retrospective review of vulvovaginal Candida hypersensitivity in women who were treated with C. albicans immunotherapy over the past eight years was conducted. Twelve women who qualified for a diagnosis of vulvovaginal Candida hypersensitivity were treated with Candida immunotherapy. Eleven of the 12 (92%) women reported clinical improvement after immunotherapy. The majority of these women were not sensitized to seasonal or perennial aeroallergens and clinically responded to lower concentrations of C. albicans allergen than what has been previously reported. In general, Candida immunotherapy was well tolerated. Chronic vulvovaginal Candida hypersensitivity is an underrecognized disorder by primary care physicians and therefore an undertreated disorder by allergists. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial is necessary to firmly establish the efficacy of treatment with Candida immunotherapy. This investigation should be designed to include mechanistic studies that would help to better understand the etiology of this disorder.

PMID: 25860170 [PubMed]